We're working in collaboration with publishers to make digital archival collections of primary source materials more affordable, so researchers, teachers and learners can enjoy access to a wider range of resources and libraries can achieve further efficiencies.
What we’re doing
Our pilot is based on a community-centred approach to lowering the cost of digital archival collections and the simple market principle: the more products purchased, the lower the price.
Between March and July 2017 we ran the pilot in collaboration with three publishers: Adam Matthew Digital, Brill and ProQuest. 20 higher education institutions (HEIs) purchased a total of 29 products across all three publishers. The collective purchasing power of the participating institutions saved the sector just over 25% off the list price, £127,000.
Following demand from members, we're expanding the pilot to offer a larger number of collections across publishers participating in phase two.
Each publisher will make a selection of digital archival collections available with a list price that decreases as institutions purchase titles in their packages. At the end of the pilot period, the price for each collection will be calculated according to an institution’s Jisc Collections band1 and how many products had been cumulatively purchased by institutions per publisher.
We'll continuously update the discount threshold reached from each publisher via our content and digitisation blog. This will provide a clear indicator of the level of discount available to institutions across the products offered by the publishers.
How this will help you
- A more efficient, coordinated and transparent approach to the acquisition of digital archival collections
- Institutions collectively help each other to drive down the cost of digital archival collections, by leveraging the power of group purchasing
- Institutions can easily compare products on offer
- All titles are a one-off purchase with no recurrent platform/hosting fee
- A simplified and uniform approach to procuring and licensing collections from multiple publishers
Why this matters
Digital collections of primary source material such as texts, images and audiovisual content can make a positive impact on innovative research practice and skills development, as a recent post on the LSE Impact blog described.
Our joint study with ProQuest on the impacts of digital collections also concluded that these collections are now part of the scholarly communication lifecycle, echoing previous studies (see toolkit for the impact of scholarly digital resources).
Researchers and librarians face a common concern: how can we ensure sustainable access to special collections to deliver better research and innovative teaching?
Libraries have said2 that digital archival collections of primary source material are an important complement to traditional resources such as journals and books, but budgets are stretched and they find it difficult to purchase these often expensive content resources.
For more information on either of our pilots, please contact Karen Colbron ([email protected]).
- 1 The basis for subscription fees for most of the online resources in the Jisc Collections catalogue: https://www.jisc-collections.ac.uk/Support/Jisc-Banding
- 2 Read more in our news item, purchasing power - we unveil initiatives to make digital collections affordable - https://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/purchasing-power-we-unveil-initiatives-to-ma...